Man killed in Tchoutacabouffa River boating accident identified - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Man killed in Tchoutacabouffa River boating accident identified

The boating accident happened Tuesday morning on the Tchoutacabouffa River near Holly Bluff Circle. (Photo source: WLOX) The boating accident happened Tuesday morning on the Tchoutacabouffa River near Holly Bluff Circle. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove has identified the man killed in a tragic boating accident on the Tchoutacabouffa River as 77-year-old William Melton, of Biloxi.

The accident happened before 10 a.m. near Holly Bluff Circle in Biloxi.

Officials said Melton apparently fell out of his boat and was then hit by the boat’s propeller as he tried to swim to shore. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Melton suffered major injuries to his head and extremities.

Melton was in the small boat alone, and the vessel did not have a kill switch. Hargrove said he was wearing a life jacket.

The news left neighbors stunned.

"I was laying down and heard sirens. I got up to see what happened and saw police out here on the water," Logan Straughan said. "I think it's tragic because we see boaters all the time, and nothing like this ever happens around here."

Mississippi Wildlife and Fisheries, Biloxi Police and Fire Departments, and the Department of Marine Resources all responded to the scene. But despite their best efforts, they were unable to save Melton.

The incident is being investigated by the coroner’s office and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

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